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This May Raise Dementia Risk in Seniors With Diabetes

Overly aggressive glucose control might backfire in older patients, findings suggest


For the study, Yaffe's team collected data on 783 diabetic patients who were aged 70 to 79 and free of dementia at the start of the study in 1997.

Over 12 years of follow-up on average, participants were periodically given tests of mental ability.

The researchers found people who were hospitalized for severe hypoglycemia had twice the risk of developing dementia compared with those who didn't have bouts of hypoglycemia.

And patients with dementia were also more than twice as likely to have severe hypoglycemia, they found.

Based on the findings, Dr. Marc Gordon, chief of neurology at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y., said he thinks trying to control blood sugar too aggressively might be ill-advised.

"There has been a concern about the association between diabetes and dementia, Gordon said. "Patients need to be careful that they are not either undertreated or over treated and that they monitor their blood sugar," he said.

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